We had the chance to catch up with Martínez this week and have a chat about what it was like to shoot at the Superdome, being part of this cast, and how working on this movie revitalized him.
ZG: I saw the movie last night and it was really good! I didn’t see the twist coming.
AM: Yeah, it’s great!
ZG: Nicky and Farad are BFF’s…
AM: He has this loyalty to Nicky, and that’s how I am in my life. I’m really faithful to the people in my life. So that’s definitely why it got me interested in doing this.
ZG: Tell me about working with Will [Smith] and Margot [Robbie]
AM: These are two diamonds in a jewelry shop. You walk in like “WOW!” They are great stars in their own ways. What I took away from Will Smith is his gratitude for what he has. It really comes across. Last night at the premiere, he took the time to walk the length of this entire side walk, shaking people’s hands, taking selfies, and being really invested in his fans in a real way. He wasn’t phoning it in, and that’s how he was in Buenos Aires and in New Orleans. This is the kind of guy that really loves his fans and… that really sense of gratitude took my breath away.
ZG: That’s amazing. He’s been in the business for so long and he’s probably one of the most humble guys out there.
AM: Yeah, he’s really authentic about it too.
ZG: What was is like shooting in the Superdome and in Buenos Aires?
AM: Shooting at the Superdome was a big thrill for me. I’m a huge football fan actually, I love the packers, so to be at the exact place, the field where they have the played the Super Bowl was just… I would have done it for free, don’t tell them this, but yeah I would have done it for free. It was just absolutely incredible. Buenos Aires is one of those exotic locations that you always think that maybe one day you’ll go but you put it off because it’s far from New York, you know, it’s not easy to get to, but once you’re there it’s a great city. I felt like the public were invested in the movie. You could feel the energy from the civilians [and it comes] across in the movie I think.
ZG: Anything fun happen while you were on location?
AM: I remember in New Orleans with Will and Margo we were being pulled by this truck, it must have been like 3am and people would recognize Will and they would be ‘Hey!’ and then one guy screamed out ‘Get jiggy with it!’ Will just laughed and played along. That was the kind of energy, again, because that’s Will Smith. There were times when it was really late at night and he would just start dancing, he would start playing music, he just wants to keep the energy going. You can’t have a bad day with Will Smith.
ZG: Since everyone is a con-man in this movie, do you have anything in common with a con-man?
AM: It’s interesting, you know, as an actor you use real emotions to sell imaginary circumstances. And that’s actually what con-people do, they use their sense of truth to distract you and to sell a lie. So as an actor, con-man and actors are spiritual cousins. In a way. That’s the thing you know, when you’re doing a con you have to be really authentic, even when it’s just bullshit.
ZG: Lastly, what was the best part of this whole experience?
AM: The best part of this whole experience I would say, just being able to hold my own with such big stars. It really came at a time in my life when I needed it. I was questioning whether or not to continue as an actor and then this comes along. I just feel rejuvenated to take on the next challenge. It was a real gift and I’m very grateful.
Focus is in theaters today, February 27th.